7 Best Hiking Boots and Shoes for All Terrains & All Budgets

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woman wearing hiking shoes by lake

Ready to buy a new pair of hiking shoes?

Hiking boots can be a pricey investment for sure, but they’re also a necessity for those of us who spend a decent amount of time out on the trails–or off them, if that’s your style! 😉

Whether you’re trekking upstream this summer or touring through the desert, these are the best hiking boots to fit all those different needs!

Best Hiking Shoes for Hot Weather: Danner Trail 2650

woman wearing Danner hiking shoes

If you live in a warmer or more humid climate, you’re gonna want something that lets your feet breathe a little. The Danner Trail 2650 boots feature a lightweight mesh lining that lets your feet do just that!

They also come with a removable orthopedic footbed for maximum comfort & a special design that allows for better heat dissipation and circulation.

Here’s what one reviewer said about the Trail 2650s:

“These fit so well and are really comfortable. The sole is really grippy and I feel confident hiking in wet and muddy conditions here in the Pacific Northwest. Bonus– I love the colors!”

Best Budget Hiking Boots: Columbia Newton Ridge Waterproof Hiking Shoe

hiking boot on a tree root

With over 9,000 positive reviews on Amazon, these Columbia hiking shoes aren’t just one of the best budget boots–they’re one of the best overall!

And better yet, they’re waterproof, an important feature that even some of the priciest hiking boots lack. I always check for that (unless it’s specifically for hot-weather hiking) since there’s nothing worse than steppin’ in a puddle at the start of your hike and having pruney feet for the next 5 hours. 😩

Here’s what one reviewer said about her pair:

“I read a ton of reviews before purchasing hiking boots for a trip out to Wyoming last week. I am so glad I trusted the reviews on these. We did over 70 miles of hiking on steep inclines in 6 days and my feet did not feel even remotely sore wearing these for every mile. We hiked in 8-10” of snow on a mountain top at less than 20º and my feet were completely warm and dry even with just one pair of socks on. I never felt the slightest bit of moisture or cold. I have never had even snow boots that were able to achieve this level of warmth. 10/10 would recommend these boots.”

Hip Tip: Sometimes it helps to order a ½ size up when picking out hiking boots since you’ll probably be wearing them with a thicker pair of socks & you don’t want your toes digging into the front. That gets uncomfy REAL quick. 😅

Best Hiking Shoes for Water: Astral TR1 Junctions

person wearing astral shoes

These are some of the best hiking shoes around, and I’m not just sayin’ that because they’re made in my hometown. 😉

Astral designs their hiking shoes specifically with water in mind, so if you find yourself wandering through rivers or over slick rocks often, these are the perfect fit for ya! They’re super lightweight, fast-drying, and surprisingly affordable compared to other water-focused hiking boots—even other Astral pairs!

I’ve owned my pair for years, covering several hundred miles of hiking trails, rafting trips, and amateur rock climbing excursions, and the grip is still as strong as the day I bought them. They’re the only shoes I trust to safely carry me over more slippery terrain and I’ll definitely be buying another pair if these ever wear out!

Astral hiking shoes

Hip Tip: Like many outdoor retailers, Astral has awesome sales around late spring and early fall. If you want to save the most $$$ while shopping for the coming season, check back around those times!

Best Hiking Shoes For Trail Running: Salomon Speedcross 5W Trail Running Shoe

holding Salomon hiking shoes

If you prefer running the trails instead of hiking, these may be your perfect fit.

I personally love hiking footwear that’s a little less bulky, and these Salomon running shoes are sleek and lightweight enough to wear anywhere. Better yet, they’re designed with a strong grip to keep you stable and secure when moving quickly over muddy and slippery terrain.

My Hip teammate, Sara, owns a pair and loves ‘em! Here’s what she says:

“I love my hiking shoes soooo much! The grip is amazing, the soles are super comfortable, the laces stay locked in place, and I literally never want to take them off! 😂”

Best Hiking Boots for Winter: Oboz Bridger 7″ Insulated Waterproof Boots

oboz hiking boots submerged in water

First off, the ankle coverage on this boot is just about perfect. When I’m hiking in winter, sometimes it’s tough to keep the snow from overflowing into the top of my boots no matter how many layers of socks I wear. And wet socks + snug shoes often = blisters, so low-ankle boots are a no-go for me in the colder months.

Aside from that, the high ankle design offers a little extra support and the wool-topped insoles will keep your feet toasty in colder temps!

Here’s what one reviewer said about her Oboz Bridgers:

“These boots are unstoppable! I have had these boots for 3 months and I wear them 5-6 days a week in mud, snow, rain, and they have literally saved my feet so many times! My feet are never cold, wet or uncomfortable. Best money I have ever spent!”

Best Boots for Day Hikes: Timberland Norwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

person wearing timberland boots

Not every hiking boot needs to be heavy-duty. If you’re more of a casual hiker or just prefer shorter day hikes rather than backpacking trips, Timberland’s Norwood Mid Boot (or the men’s version Chocorua Boot) will give you great protection and support at a reasonable price point.

This boot is affordable, stylish, and includes all the basic details required to maximize comfort without spending extra $$$ on a trekking boot with features you really don’t need for simple hikes.

Here’s what one reviewer said about their Norwood pair:

“Love these boots! They were comfortable right out of the box, no breaking in needed. I have worn them on a few 4 mile hikes so far and they were awesome, very comfortable and traction was good. They are so easy to put on and off and the fit is perfect. I have wide feet but these fit great even with thick socks. They are lightweight and not bulky and huge. They are so cute that I wear them out shopping and doing errands. Highly recommend these!”

Best Splurge: Zamberlan Vioz GTX Hiking Boots

pair of black hiking boots

These boots are pricey, but if you spend a lot of time on the trails, you’ll want something that can hold up on rough or unpredictable terrain.

These Zamberlan boots are made with high-quality, durable material & provide great support while still being breathable. They’re also much heavier than other boots and reviewers said they do require a little breaking-in, but it’s totally worth it to have a boot that lasts years and years.

These are definitely a little excessive for casual hikes, but if you’re a serious backpacker, they’ll get the job done–and then some!

Here’s what one reviewer said about his Zamberlan Vioz boots:

“I purchased my Zamberlan’s specifically to tackle Mt Kilimanjaro. It provided an extraordinary level of support, foot protection, and grip. The front edge sole and boot sturdiness if perfect for gripping very small boulder edges needed for upward propulsion. The heals and heal treads provided excellent downward control despite gravely loose terrain. The laces are easily adjustable to the uniqueness of your foot and ankle. The laces hold in position without faultering. This is a heavy boot but well worth the protection it provides irrespective of the elements.”

Snag the best deals on hiking shoes right here!

About the writer:

Brandi has an Associate's Degree and 5+ years of experience writing and creating online content for local businesses.

Join The Discussion

Comments 5

  1. Evie

    I love my Timberland. They are comfortable and have had for years.
    What exactly does “mid waterproof mean.”
    I buy them because they are waterproof. No one is answering the question at customer service.
    Get a clue, Timberland, do not change your waterproof! I will not buy! More “change is good, nonesense!”

    • Kat

      I believe the “mid” refers to how high the boot is, nothing to do with how waterproof it is…

  2. micah79

    I work outside a lot, especially during the hot summer days, and I need a shoe that has, comfort, grip, and weather resistant. I have tried many shoes from Keen, Merrell, and Columbia. I have found that of those, my Columbia shoes are the best. They last a lot longer than the other two. I’m current rocking the Columbia men’s crest wood waterproof. It’s a low top shoe that has all I need. Got them for $50 on Amazon.

  3. peachcraze

    My husband and I have been backpacking for years. We live in the Rocky Mountains and our trips are often 3-5 days long over all types of terrain. I’ve tried several different brands of shoes over the years and have found Altra to be my favorite. I’ve tried several of their trail running shoes (I am NOT a runner) and liked them all. My husband also wears them and says he definitely notices a difference with how his feet feel after a full day of hiking. I do feel that the women’s sizing runs a size small in most of their shoes. Also, they don’t last as long as some other brands but it’s worth it for me to not have tired feet after a long hike in with several days of our trip left.

  4. Angela

    Merrill Moab waterproof low for basic trails for sure. Podiatrist recommended them and I cringed at the price but honestly after four years of non stop use- including in winter with warm socks in snow and ice they still look new and feel great. I got mine at EMS with a sale and good rewards for the purchase. Amazon seems to be priced high for them

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